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Did Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE) Insiders Buy Up More Shares?

Simply Wall St

We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we'd be remiss not to mention that insider sales have been known to precede tough periods for a business. So before you buy or sell Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE), you may well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling.

What Is Insider Selling?

It's quite normal to see company insiders, such as board members, trading in company stock, from time to time. However, most countries require that the company discloses such transactions to the market.

We don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions. But it is perfectly logical to keep tabs on what insiders are doing. For example, a Columbia University study found that 'insiders are more likely to engage in open market purchases of their own company’s stock when the firm is about to reveal new agreements with customers and suppliers'.

View our latest analysis for Astec Industries

Astec Industries Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider purchase was by Group President of Infrastructure & Energy Jaco van der Merwe for US$66k worth of shares, at about US$32.75 per share. So it's clear an insider wanted to buy, at around the current price, which is US$38.15. Of course they may have changed their mind. But this suggests they are optimistic. If someone buys shares at well below current prices, it's a good sign on balance, but keep in mind they may no longer see value. In this case we're pleased to report that the insider purchases were made at close to current prices.

While Astec Industries insiders bought shares last year, they didn't sell. The average buy price was around US$29.44. To my mind it is good that insiders have invested their own money in the company. However, we do note that they were buying at significantly lower prices than today's share price. The chart below shows insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

NasdaqGS:ASTE Recent Insider Trading, December 2nd 2019

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Insider Ownership

For a common shareholder, it is worth checking how many shares are held by company insiders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Astec Industries insiders own about US$15m worth of shares. That equates to 1.8% of the company. While this is a strong but not outstanding level of insider ownership, it's enough to indicate some alignment between management and smaller shareholders.

So What Do The Astec Industries Insider Transactions Indicate?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. On a brighter note, the transactions over the last year are encouraging. Overall we don't see anything to make us think Astec Industries insiders are doubting the company, and they do own shares. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Astec Industries, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body. We currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.